Reviews for The Path Ahead
Chaos66 chapter 1 . 7/6/2013
I thought genesis was sick, you really have good skills in symbolism and emotion.
SHADOWoftheFOX chapter 1 . 8/31/2011
Awwwwwww. This was adorable and beautifully written as always. I loved your descriptions of the snow and I thought you handled the short flashbacks really well.
spiritwinned chapter 1 . 7/24/2011
This is a really well-written and beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing it.
Kageayamu Sakushi chapter 1 . 6/29/2011
Awsome as usual but i'm a little disappointed that it was not romance (I'm a sucker for romance)

But Gen and Geal stay in character which is good since ooc isn't really fitting for this fic.
tookkia chapter 1 . 2/4/2011
First off, let me say this: I don’t care if there’s not much plot. This story was adorable and inspiring and it’s so much more interesting and endearing to see what’s going on with the characters anyway so bleh to plots!

Ok, lol, onto the review! I think your excerpt was more than right, kind of tells us why Genesis is acting so strangely right from the start.

“Outside, the light from a single lamp post fought a constant battle against the darkness, dimmed by the masses of snowflakes seemingly drawn to it like bugs in a clear summer night.” I thought this was such a great line, in particular, the single lamp post vs darkness. I’m sure most might give you an in depth analysis of why this is such a great line, but for me it’s simply this: it sounded cool! I think what stood out was the way you interconnected a simple inanimate object and contrasted it with the more mystical (dare I say, unfathomable?) darkness. Ok, so maybe I’m analyzing a little, but it’s a bit mind-blowing, really. We’d all like to think light will overcome darkness and you showed a good physical representation of how difficult it is for that light to win sometimes. A single glow fighting a smog of darkness.

(Oooh! Cloud vs Sephiroth! My little, young chocobo battling the wrath of the greatest warrior plunged now in evil) I know, totally off-topic heehee but I like it :)

Sorry, I got a bit carried away lol.

I enjoy how you link aspects of the characters—in this case Angeal—and create a backstory all your own. Angeal wearing his hair long, for instance, a result of Genesis’ evaluating glance. You do this in a lot of your stories, but I guess the reason I enjoy it so much is because your stories always make sense. They delve deep into the characters themselves, so that we can relate and actually feel what is going on, what they are feeling.

I have to admit, the conflict between Angeal and Genesis had me frowning. Of course it only made the ending that much sweeter. I don’t think I have to tell you how GOOD your characterization is, considering you’ve told me more than once the importance of that and character dynamics. And in this banter between the two, there is never anything amiss. Angeal is still his sensible, reasoning self, even if he is that young. “I really don’t think this has anything to with performance … and that implies being sent on missions a lot, and most likely not together.”

And Genesis as well. “For Gaia’s sake, how can a person as intelligent as you be so awfully dense?”

Funny how Angeal had it almost right in that first part “that implies being sent on missions a lot, and most likely not together.” But I guess even the best of friends, no matter how in sync, are not completely perfect. Nothing is after all. Which is another reminder of how realistic the whole situation is.

And this part: “Stop it. You really sound like his mother, not like friend.” It was a bit funny lol. But at the same time a bit inconceivable because Angeal is caring, after all. So just because he’s looking out for Genesis doesn’t make him exactly like a mother. If he wasn’t like that, Angeal wouldn’t be Angeal. At least that’s how I see it.

“They exchanged a brief glance, brown eyes silently inquiring what was wrong, green eyes denying the answer.” Imperfections aside, it’s so cute how even during an argument, they can still communicate. How could anyone not love this pair? Romantic or not, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps it’s just because you write them so well. Hmmm… I know you mentioned you don’t really do ‘forced writing’, but I wonder … You’re just so good at character dynamics, I wonder how a totally random pairing suggested would turn out. Lol, my point is, you’re really good ;-)

“However, they were still walking beside each other. Deep in his heart, he hoped that at least this fact would never change.” I think this was my favorite line in the story, a symbol of Angeal&Genesis forever, if you know what I mean. I believe later on in the story you reiterate this sentiment, but I’ll get to that.

Oh actually, here’s one: “Two sets of footsteps, parallel, right next to each other.” Hmmm, now that I think about it, this actually reminds me of Fragile Bonds, the whole ‘parallel’ mentioning. Any connections? Or perhaps this is just the way you view this pair? No matter what setting, or circumstance, always beside each other, through thick and thin? Wow, that makes them sound like a married couple lol.

“His eyes were somehow watery, but Angeal blamed that on the biting cold as well.” I love how even Angeal can’t affiliate tears to Genesis at this point, like if he’s fighting for Genesis’ pride (does that make sense?) when Genesis can’t do it fully himself. “Was the wetness in his eyes really just caused by the unpleasant chill?” And he’s still uncertain. Open your eyes Angeal!

“I can't do that. Trying to hug him in front of all these other soldiers or telling him everything is going to be alright when I'm in no position to judge that would only damage his pride. I can't do that. I can't.” Angeal knows Genesis so well. Cookie, you know them both so well! How do you do it? Really, I don’t think I’ll ever uncover the secret …

“His glance was blank and hard, like the ice layer on a lake in early winter. At the same time, however, this cold was transparent, still thin and barely covering the surface. Below, one could clearly see the waves of dark water pressing against it. Too much pressure, and the fragile layer would give in.” This is a beautiful image, as dark an image as it portrays, inner turmoil depicted with ice itself, and the depths below. And I’m glad you included the last part about giving in. And there it is, the small ray of light pushing forward through the waves and surfacing. Thank goodness this story is going to have a happy ending.

And then “So not worth it.” The way you write this next part: “Genesis had decided to bury his pride, at least temporally, for the one person he deemed more important than the increasingly defiant attempts to save his face. For him.” Knowing how proud Genesis is, it makes this line so much more meaningful. Angeal is pleasantly surprised as well, in addition to realizing why Genesis was upset to begin with. You know, for being so young, he (Angeal) sure is a smart cookie ;-)

I don’t think I need to quote any of the remaining section. It’s all just so beautiful. And of course I giggled like a silly little girl when I saw the canon reference in the end. “And after all, you are a bit more important than that scarf." "Maybe. But just a little bit.” I bet every reviewer quoted this lol. But it only makes the ties in your story and the characters all the more real and absolutely adorable.

You capture the purity of their friendship exceedingly well. And to think, this whole time Genesis was just worried about his friend. It’s very thoughtful, and sincere to say the least. Genesis is so complex, and actually seeing him cry, and for something as small as in this story … it’s a feat you should be very proud of.

This is definitely going in my favorites. Thank you so much, Cookie, for this heart-warming story. I’ve said it so many times already, but you really are an amazing writer. You make the characters come alive. ALIVE! Their problems become our own, their joys and sorrows ours to share in, their achievements ours to pat ourselves on the back for. And you make Angeal and Genesis the most beautiful pair, whether it is romantic or just two friends worried about being separated for five days. I love it all!

*hugs*

Tookkia
Account Is Inactive 750 chapter 1 . 1/25/2011
Love! See PM for full review _
The124C41 chapter 1 . 1/25/2011
Oh well. I was planning to review since some time, I just lacked inspiration but just now when I was playing, this music came on - believe me, I don't believe in this whole 'listen to suitable music while writing', as my writing skills depend more on the inspiration than on the environment, and this song doesn't even fit with this fic - and I knew that I have to review, right here, right now. So as soon as I got over it, I clicked on 'review' and started writing what came to my mind. First and foremost, I must say that this fic pictures one of my currently favourite qualities of your writing that I believe I haven't adressed yet, namely, the fact that the characters don't read each other minds and telepathically know other's thoughts: that even the best friend's track of thought can sometimes seem alien and incomprehensible. Not only does it make the characters more interesting because of the element of the mystery, and allows to surprise the reader. but also makes the character more real and human. I agree, the perfect understanding can exist, especially between so close friends, but when they don't understand each other completely, when they have problems with following the other's way of thinking - this makes them more human. Humans aren't infallible. Humans have flaws.

My favourite line in the story is definitely 'Maybe they were still children in the eyes of the world, but they both knew better'. Maybe 'loss of innocence' is an old and used motif, but it still can evoke emotions, when used by a skilled writer, and this line evokes emotions on its own, even without the rest of the story. What interests me most is what it implies: that the rest of the world doesn't know it, that they are alone, and on their own. And when looking on the circumstances of the story, at the fact that they are to be separated for probably the first time since a long time, it seems even more crucial.

The finale is perfect. It ties in with what I've mentioned on the beginning: the theme of lack of understanding. After all, what is important is not to perfectly know the other's mind all the time, but understand when it is needed. And what holds the meaning here is that Angeal himself understood Genesis's situation, maybe too late, but still figured it out himself, and Genesis didn't have to explain it.

And the situation with the scarf... it reminded me of something and I think I should mention it to you. Do you recall this scene in Berserk when Princess Charlotte gives this little thing (can't recall what it was, probably some piece of jewellery) to Griffith, and he also refuses, and when he finally decides to accept it, he says he will return it to her after the war? I know neither Gennie nor Angeal would be happy with this comparison *sigh* I just thought I should mention it, and say that I like this theme, too.

The last thing I want to address is the second dedication. I have to say that placing it on the end of the story instead of the beginning, as it is usually done, was a right choice, as its true meaning can be undesrtood after reading this story. It also makes it very personal... I'd be very reluctant to publish something very personal... or at least publish it and confirm that it is very personal. But it fits the story completely and seems more like an integral part of it than just a dedication.
oztan chapter 1 . 1/23/2011
I like this. I like the ending.
NoLongerActive11111 chapter 1 . 1/23/2011
Hey!

I am soooooooo happy to see you had finally posted it. Recently, I am just in the mood to read great FF7 fanfiction, but there is very little that suits my taste (and I shall once again repeat that you are the only one who writes strictly romance captivating for me to read). Reading you is always a relief and pleasure.

And you know what? The secret is rather simple. *I got up at five in the morning and went outside into the snow, just to see what it was like.*

I always admired people who would go as far as it gets to make what they love doing perfect. Very little, after all, compares to the personal experience.

*Warning: Symbolism! And emotions. That's all *

Hm, more like a promise. XD But let's see...

Well, the second sentence, and I already love it. Sigh... *Outside, the light from a single lamp post fought a constant battle against the darkness, dimmed by the masses of snowflakes seemingly drawn to it like bugs in a clear summer night.* In case you were wondering, it's the battle image, the opposition of light vs darkness. Few truly realize how much of a role simplistic dualistic oppositions/antagonizing concepts play in our world. XD And it's always hard to make something truly memorable out of those seemingly cliche, known things.

I love how you intertwined the memories and the present, where Angeal stands and remembers, wondering: "he also knew it was just not like Genesis to be so unfair, so inconsolable, and so unforgiving towards his best friend". There is a first time for everything and one of my favorite analogies of a human being is with an iceberg (coincidence much? with the running theme I mean). You may know every spot and line on the surface, but nothing of what is underneath the water, and it's 9/10 of an actual iceberg, I believe. And you express this part here perfectly. Angeal definitely is in the dark about many things about Genesis, as he is in 'Fragile Bonds'.

*You really sound like his mother, not like his friend*

Oh, this is so suiting to Angeal. :)

* Two sets of footsteps, parallel, right next to each other*

I couldn't help but see the connection to the last chapter of FB. The definition of parallel Genesis was talking about. Whether they reflect the same concept, is hard to say although knowing you and your love for little details that form a complicated puzzle if added together (something I happen to share an addiction to as well XD), I'd risk to say they are at least related. (Going side by side in life, that is).

*Below, one could clearly see the waves of dark water pressing against it.*

I remember this description you showed me. And I still can't remember a better metaphor for someone about to cry.

And the ending... so beautiful and just so... powerful. Loved it so so much, and of course, I did notice the canon teasing reference - And after all, you are a bit more important than that scarf.

Well, as a conclusion... perfect. You said not to expect much, but... that's not it. Hard to express (words are flawed after all). it's the 'first time going to a battle that might be the last', which you described, and it is much, damn, it's a lot. The first time is always the hardest. And you caught the essence of it without really naming too much of what it was. And the scarf... the simple things are symbolic indeed. :)

Something to say at the end. I LOVED the descriptions and the language in this chapter. Immaculate like the snow you described.

You made one very happy reader. :)

Yours,

Nephilim Rising